Modest Mussorgsky

Night on Bald Mountain

            Mussorgsky is, of course, familiar to concertgoers for his ever-popular work for solo piano, Pictures from an Exhibition—made even more well known in Ravel’s masterful orchestration.  Opera lovers occasionally are afforded the opportunity to attend a performance of his stunning opera, Boris Godunov, but for most, that’s it.  For the great preponderance of his work is encountered through his many songs, well known to singers and teachers of voice. The single exception to this is manifestly his evergreen tone poem, Night on Bald Mountain—except that he didn’t compose it.  Well, not in the conventional sense of a complete, polished composition.  For it has a checkered history, to be sure.